Sports Features of Sunday, 25 September 2005
Source: Ekow Omagbemi Arthur
The Black Starlets dream of annexing the world Under 17 trophy in Peru for the third time ended last Thursday at the Miguel Grau Stadium when they were crushed out by China.
It?s really pathetic to see our Starlets failing to make it pass the group stage of the competition.
The Starlets who were one the tournaments favourite had a dream of winning the trophy for the third time for mother Ghana in Peru.
But that dream never materialised, thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of arranging a proper training tour to give the team a good exposure and the unwarranted interference in technical matters from the administrative officials that accompany the team to Peru.
The Starlets preparation for the tournament wasn?t the best as compared to our previous Starlet teams. A training tour of the UK and the USA were cancelled because someone in the GFA just failed to do his job to get visas for the players to embark on the tour.
After the FA failing to get visas for the team, they hurriedly compensated them with a tour of Brazil with just two weeks to the tournament.
Thanks to lack of stiff opposition in Brazil, the Starlets won all their matches and we thought all was well with the team. We got to Peru and our players were found wanting.
It?s interesting to know that out of the three matches the Starlets played in Peru, they scored three goals and conceded three.
I am not writing this piece to pick on the coach but I was really disappointed with his interview after the game. With us still mourning over our early elimination from the tournament, Coach Duncan is telling us to judge who the better team was in our game against China. Is he asking us to judge the Starlets early elimination from the tournament or what? He should know that football is all about goals and not who played better.
Duncan should stop blaming the Chinese for their strategy. I dislike coaches who blame someone else for their poor show. Were Peru and Costa Rica playing the same strategy like the Chinese? If not how come we failed to win against them?
As he rightly said China did not come to play football but we got good goal scoring chances but we failed to score. Dancan should give as a break.
After taking a lead in the 55th minute, coach Duncan couldn?t plan a strategy to hold onto the lead and maybe go on to get another goal to seal qualification from the group stage but he rather sat on the bench to see his goalkeeper making poor ball distribution.
Duncan shouldn?t forget that nothing short of the trophy was what Ghanaians were looking forward to and shouldn?t think our early exit from the tournament is something we should be proud of.
Someone needs to drum into Duncan?s ears that his team failed to deliver and this is the worst Starlets team we have ever seen.
Meanwhile, there are some few questions Ghanaians will like to have answers to. I am calling on Mr "Oyeadie yie" Osarfo Marfo, the minister for Youth, Education and Sports to come out.
Firstly, what action is being taking against those who failed the team in their preparation by getting visas for them to tour the UK and the USA?
Secondly, Coach Duncan complained of interference in technical matters from the administrative officials that accompany the team to Peru.
And lastly, somebody will have to explain what Ben Koufie was doing in Peru and what his role in Peru was.
This is a wake up call for the Black stars as we are on our way to Germany for the World Cup.